What Is an Operating Services Agreement?
An operating services agreement is an internal agreement in an organization that defines the internal support relationships of the organization. It is used by service providers to describe how service level agreements should be met. An operational service level agreement is a contract between a service provider and a customer. This helps in tracking the progress of the operation services provided to the customer, and the team or the division.
Operational service agreements are also known as operational level agreements. The operational services definition operation services definition would cover the scope of customer support services, maintenance services etc. this agreement helps to ensure that all such services are delivered to the client in a timely manner.
When Do You Need an Operating Services Agreement?
This agreement is used to define the internal responsibilities of an organization. The agreement sets certain targets for the services and also sets out how such services shall be delivered. This agreement is useful in making sure that the services that are provided to the customers are done with efficiency by using the service level agreements as the base document. This also ensures that all the timelines for the performance of services are followed.
Inclusions in the Operating Services Agreement
A standard operational service agreement contains the following terms
- The details of the organization and the departments
- The relationships between the departments and the support personnel
- The nature of services that would be provided by the the support staff to the customer-facing staff
- The goals and objectives of the agreement
- The scope of the work and the terms of engagement it aims to achieve
- The terms of the service along with the hours of service
- The roles and responsibilities of the service provider
- The responsibility of maintaining the organisational policies with the clients
- Method of modification and termination
- Codes of professional and ethical conduct
- Confidentiality clauses for any proprietary information generated or used during the provision of services between the departments
- Warranties and Representations
- Waivers of liability
- Extent of liability for damages caused as part of the services
- Termination of of the agreement
- Rights and responsibilities of both the parties
- Response time and tolerance of downtime
How to Draft an Operating Services Agreement?
The following are the steps to follow while drafting an operational service agreement:
- It must cover all the departments and service personnel involved in the provision of the service
- It must identify the relationships between the personnel to define the roles
- It must create proper communication channels to ensure suitable work is done
- It must create a method of reporting for the organisation to track the services provided by various providers
- The response time that the service provider would respond to
- The downtime that is tolerated
- The communication and advance notice that must be given to the providers for addressing
- The support groups
- Service desks
- Network management
- Operations management
Benefits of the Operating Services Agreement
The following are the benefits and drawbacks of this agreement:
- It helps the service provider to track the manner in which service level agreements are to be met. This ensures that all the services are performed in a timely manner, and the needs of the clients are met.
- This agreement also helps to define the internal responsibilities of the service provider.
- It helps in efficient services operation management.
- It helps in tracking the work done
- It creates a definite communication channel between the departments
- It creates accountability for the work done by the internal personnel
Key Terms in the Operating Services Agreement
The key terms in an operational service agreement are as follows:
- Terms of engagement
- Service term including relationships between the personnel
- Service targets to be achieved
- Confidentiality clause for proprietary information created during the process.
- Termination clause
What Happens in Case of Violation?
Breach of this contract would amount to breach of covenants of employment for the individual. There are a lot of actions that can be taken including suspension or firing of that employee. Lax in providing service may also cause customer dissatisfaction which could create breach of providing services in which case, the organization will have to do damage control.
Sample for Operating Services Agreement
You can download an operational service level agreement template here.
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